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What are ball valves and how are they used?

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(© A Stockphoto –

Ball valves are one of the most common types of valve in the world and are mainly used for the control and regulation of fluid. Based on working conditions, ball valves are capable of being equipped with different devices to form many different control methods.

Some of the most common types of ball valves include pneumatic, electric and hydraulic valves, which you can see more here.

How they work

Ball valves work very simply: They operate by using a hollow ball which is perforated and pivots to allow liquid to flow through it. The ball valve then drives the handle to rotate it by transmission, this then turns the ball to rotate until it is perpendicular to its flow.

When the ball valve is opened, the hole in the ball itself is turned to be put in line with the flow. If you are curious about the advantages of ball valves, continue reading to learn more!

Advantages of ball valves

There are many great reasons why ball valves are so popular. Here are the top reasons to consider:

  • Ball valves are designed to be very simple and the weight and volume of them is relatively small. This makes them very easy to assemble, disassemble and use.
  • Since the valve stem can only rotate, it means that the seal of the valve is not easily broken. It also means that the sealing capacity actually increases as the medium pressure increases, meaning that they are very strong.
  • The fluid resistance is quite minimal, and the full-bore ball valve has nearly no flow resistance. If you are curious about which kind of ball valve features the least amount of resistance, the pneumatic ball valve is known as one the least fluid resistances in all valve types.
  • The operation of opening and closing a ball valve is fast and quick. In order to be opened or closed, the valve only needs to be rotated by 90 degrees. This makes it one of the easiest types of valves to open and close, which is the primary reason why it is the most common type of valves that you will find in residential buildings and homes.
  • Ball valves are useful and used for a very wide range of needs. They can also come in all shapes and sizes, from as small to a few millimeters to as large as a few meters.
  • They are able to be used in high vacuum and high-pressure situations.

Safety measures

If you are interested in installing ball valves or already use them, consider these important safety precautions:

  • The ball valve must be cleaned and repaired at least once a year
  • The ball valve should be activated at least once a month to keep it from getting stuck
  • The ball valve can only be fully open or fully close, it should never be used for throttling

Hopefully you have learned some interesting facts about ball valves. While you may not know you use them, you surely do. After all, they truly are one of the most common types of valves in the world.